Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Lisa is eleven or twelve. She has pigtails and wears large bows in her hair, so it is easy to mistake her for eight. She's a little off. She talks loud, laughs louder, and doesn't quite fit in. She stumbles around during games, forgets simple rules, and occasionally cries when the boys tease her. She also makes new friends quickly and easily.

When we read "You Are Special" by Max Lucado, Lisa quickly grasped the meaning of the book. I could see in her eyes that something had clicked.

We lunched with Lisa's grandparents anŠ² mother yesterday. They like that Lisa is interested in God: it isn't for them, but they're glad she's having fun and doing good. Her grandfather said that Lisa can make friends with anyone. They just bought a new Dacha (a small wooden summer house surrounded by a quarter acre of garden) and already Lisa is friends with all of the other children who summer there. We gave Lisa's mother the Max Lucado book to give to Lisa.

Today Lisa's shoes broke during a game of soccer. Shoes in Russia are very expensive. They are the cheapest quality imaginable and go for almost as much as high-quality name brands in America. Lisa cried because she was afraid she would get in trouble. The Pastor asked me if I would buy her new shoes. Since Lisa's family doesn't go to church I wanted to make sure they were not angry at the church for playing rough games. I was more than happy to buy shoes for Lisa.

We walked for a quite a while to the nearest children's shoe store. Pastor Roman held her hand the whole way, like a good shepherd. We found a good pair for only $30 dollars. (Practically a miracle!) Lisa was so thrilled to have new shoes to replace the broken ones.

I see in Lisa a great future. I see a wonderful church planter - easily making friends and easily sharing the good news of a God who uses awkward people to accomplish great things. When she tried on the shoes I was reminded of a verse I love dearly ..., " How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News." I pray that she will continue to grow in the faith in this church and will one day live out the great future God has planned for her - a future of bringing the good news to a people in need of hearing.

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